‘Nightmare neighbour’ finally removes shipping container in Swindon back garden

A ‘neighbour from hell’ has finally removed a shipping container she was using as a house extension – after nearly two years of complaints.

Lillie Goddard moved into a three-bed static caravan with her children kids claiming her property had been declared unsafe for a child to live in.

She said she then bought the shipping container to store their possessions and building materials.

The unsightly mess has even featured on a Channel 5 television show.  

Lillie Goddard has been ordered to remove a metal shipping container, pictured, from her home in Swindon, Wiltshire

Lillie Goddard has been ordered to remove a metal shipping container, pictured, from her home in Swindon, Wiltshire

Lillie Goddard has been ordered to remove a metal shipping container, pictured, from her home in Swindon, Wiltshire

Neighbours appealed to the local council for an enforcement notice to remove the container and the caravan. The council said enforcement action to remove the caravan failed on a technicality. Officials said they are considering their position about future action

Neighbours appealed to the local council for an enforcement notice to remove the container and the caravan. The council said enforcement action to remove the caravan failed on a technicality. Officials said they are considering their position about future action

Neighbours appealed to the local council for an enforcement notice to remove the container and the caravan. The council said enforcement action to remove the caravan failed on a technicality. Officials said they are considering their position about future action

Neighbours in Park South, Swindon, Wiltshire, have complained for almost two years about an unsightly shipping container on their housing estate.

But they were surprised and delighted to see it suddenly be removed.

The caravan arrived outside the house in July 2019 while the shipping container was added in December 2020. Locals argued the structures were in breach of planning laws and created an eyesore. 

Earlier this month, a crane arrived to remove the shipping container. The wooden structure was thrown off by contractors scattering rubbish around the green area beside the house. 

The remains of the wooden structure have been dumped on the green. 

Jo Wilson, who has spearheaded efforts to try to sort out the mess, said: ‘It’s a very positive thing and I’m hoping this is the first step in getting this eyesore removed.

‘We have been fighting this for so long but no one expected it to happen, everyone was shocked but so happy.

Neighbours have collaborated for almost two years to get the council to force the removal of the unauthorised structures

Neighbours have collaborated for almost two years to get the council to force the removal of the unauthorised structures

Neighbours have collaborated for almost two years to get the council to force the removal of the unauthorised structures  

‘Some people were stood at the end of the street and watching as it happened, and cars that drove past beeped their horns and the drivers gave a thumbs-up.

‘She kept saying she was going to tidy it and clear it out, but everything was still in it when they took it away, and now there’s a mess on the green that’s probably just going to be left there.’

The mobile caravan is still outside the front of the property, as Ms Goddard and some of her family are living in it while renting out the house to tenants.

This is despite her previously claiming the property was unsafe when she moved into it. She claimed it would require extensive renovations.

The container was storing building materials while this work was being carried out, but it took far longer than anticipated and wore thin the patience of others in the area.

Swindon Borough Council issued enforcement orders to remove the caravan and container in November

Swindon Borough Council issued enforcement orders to remove the caravan and container in November

Swindon Borough Council issued enforcement orders to remove the caravan and container in November 

Swindon Borough Council issued enforcement orders to remove the caravan and container in November.

Ms Goddard successfully appealed against having the caravan taken away. So far, only the container, pictured centre, has been removed. 

When approached for comment, Ms Goddard seemed to think her successful appeal against the caravan being removed also applied to the container, which it did not.

She said: ‘I won in court.

‘If I wanted, I could have kept the shipping container on the garden.

‘There were several occasions of neighbours bullying, shouting at me and calling all sorts without reason.

‘If the neighbours still bully me for no reason in the future, it will prove it has nothing to do with the shipping container.’

A council spokesman said: ‘It is obviously good news that the shipping container has been removed and we are making arrangements to remove the timber box.

‘We would like to reassure local residents that we are considering our next course of action with regard to the mobile home after the Planning Inspectorate dismissed our previous enforcement notice on a technical issue.’

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